Scientists have proof that when used every day, sunscreen prevents wrinkles and signs of skin aging.
Researchers from Australia and the U.K. set out to test this hypothesis, by recruiting 903 participants under age 55 for a side-by-side comparison.
All participants underwent photoaging tests on the back of one hand at the start of the study published June 4, 2013 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and then were split into groups: Half were advised to use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, every day, on their head, arms, neck and hands; the other half was told to use it on a "discretionary" basis.
The daily sunscreen group showed no detectable increase in skin aging after 4.5 years. Skin aging from baseline to the end of the trial was 24% less in the daily sunscreen group than in the discretionary sunscreen group (relative odds, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.59 to 0.98]). β-Carotene supplementation had no overall effect on skin aging, although contrasting associations were seen in subgroups with different severity of aging at baseline.
Regular sunscreen use retards skin aging in healthy, middle-aged men and women.
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